I have been thinking about my own failures in Internet marketing so far have changed my outlook in life. I gave myself the dubious honour of becoming an expert in failure but do you know what? I didn’t even get that right. Something wonderful has happened!
I will give a little background first; it is challenging to not come from the marketing world and it not coming naturally. My education and vocation has been in science, mathematics, programming and technology – I know, that does sound a bit geekish but I was quite successful in it. So my efforts so far have been strewn with failure because I haven’t consistently applied the facts that I have learned.
Now I realise there is a difference between learning something, knowing something, applying it and having it come naturally. In fact I have a theory on expertise which I measure myself with in any area with this rough guide:
- A novice is a person learning the facts
- An amateur is a person who thinks or uses the facts
- A veteran is someone who has used the facts wrongly but lived to survive it
- A professional is a person who knows the facts and applies them correctly
- An expert is a person who naturally or instinctively applies the facts without thinking
- A guru is a person who is an expert but can sit in a lotus position with sandals on and acts cool
So how can I consider myself an expert in failure? It was thinking about it that gave me a little bit of insight that feels wonderful and I hope it helps you if you are coming up against the same kind of challenges.
So let’s look at failure…
The fear of failure is the worst disease to get, it stops everything you do, or worse still if you have made a great effort in doing something right it will stop you before you finish, ruining your chance to benefit from your efforts. Failure hurts too; it makes you see through dark coloured spectacles at the world around you and shows up where you are inadequate.
But failure isn’t real….
Think about it. There is always someone better than you and always someone worse. By some lists we create and share we may show someone to be at the top of their game but these are always temporary. Someone may be the first to achieve something that no one else ever has and that is an achievement, but by no means any reflection on any of the others that tried before and failed. Usually it is with the knowledge of how others fail that these people get there first anyway and so they owe their success to all the others who have tried before.
So take a look at your failure – look right into its eyes and study it. It means just one thing, you are absolutely useless and shouldn’t bother trying – no, sorry – that was the internal dialogue that probably enters your mind – failure is just a try at something that didn’t bring the results you expected.
Failure to achieve, what it is that you want to do, can be turned around. You are living your life and a wonderful opportunity presents itself to you in failure. You want something that you haven’t got. You have a challenge in front of you that will help you grow if you keep on trying to get that thing that you want.
Don’t get caught up in the silly internal taunts that may enter your mind and think of this as a wonderful opportunity to prove yourself. Don’t worry about the reaction of people around you when you fail, if they are not behind you then they definitely aren’t your friends anyway.
Failure is learning something new, something didn’t work the way you expected and your experience has increased. The results of your failure may cause problems for you, it may even cause you some embarrassment, but these are just the challenges in life for you to overcome. Deal with them quickly or ignore them but move forward.
If you don’t try, if you don’t push yourself, if you create a world around you that is safe, then you are truly stuck and everything may stay the same for you until you die.
Come on! – Make your failures big.
Make them often.
Be proud of the fact that you are trying, you are growing, you are becoming a better person and you are increasing in courage, persistence and discipline.
Winning is the temporary reward for your efforts and just think how great it will feel when you have to try so hard to get there.
The more you fail the more you are able to do. Just keep on getting back up and trying again. Success is only a temporary goal anyway. Once you have it you are likely to want to try for another goal anyway – to grow even more.
A veteran of failure, unless they stop trying, will always become successful.